Monday, August 14, 2017

Guest Post by Alyssa Thiessen for Blog Tour of Infusion

It’s a Great Time to Be Writing: Five Things Aspiring Authors Should Know About Publishing

The world of publishing is opening up to writers in a beautiful way. Whether you’re an indie-writer entrepreneur or a writer who is seeking traditional publication, you have so many options that just weren’t available ten or fifteen years ago. Agents and large publishing houses are an excellent way to be published, but they aren’t the only way; a writer can now also successfully self-publish or pursue publication through a small press. No matter which route you pursue, there are a few things the aspiring author should keep in mind when thinking about publishing. 

1)     Quality is key. Whether you want to publish your own book or have it picked up by a publisher, it’s important to put work out there that readers will want to read. Even if you’re self-publishing, don’t actually do it all by yourself. Find trusted beta readers, professional (paid) editors, careful proof-readers, and skilled graphic designers. If you’re signing with a smaller press – or even a large one – look at the other books they’ve put out before considering them. Do you like their cover design? Do they seem to care about what they publish? Are their books written and published to a standard you’d read?

 2)     Writing and publishing take time. For many authors, it can take years from when you pen your first draft to when you see your book on the shelves (virtual or otherwise). Some indie-authors who write and edit very quickly have perfected the art of publishing so that the time between writing and publishing is significantly shorter than most but, for the majority of writers, patience is key. I finished revising Infusion over five years before its publication. For some, the wait can be even longer.

 3)     There is more than one “right” way to do it. Success can be found through indie writing, small press publication, and the “Big Five” publishers. A combination of research, trial-and-error, selectiveness, marketing, and sometimes a little good old-fashioned luck can determine the success of your literary baby.

 4)     Research helps. Decide which type of publication you want to pursue, and then carefully look into what is required to get there. Independent publishing requires decisions about editing and design, as well as distribution options, competitive pricing, and possible marketing venues. Traditional publishing (large or small press) requires that you familiarize yourself with the art of writing a query letter, a one-sheet, and a synopsis. In many cases, you’ll need an agent as well. You will need to research agents carefully in terms of who they’ve worked with, what types of books they generally take, and what you need in order to be considered.

 5)     Relationships matter. I heard this idea presented recently at a writer’s conference and it really resonated with me. Whether you’re meeting editors and agents at a writing conference, interacting with fellow writers through writing groups, or communicating with potential readers on social media, you should approach each interaction with the genuine intention to give. If these friendly, positive relationships benefit you later through professional contacts, author indorsements, or life-long readers, that’s a bonus. But if they don’t, that’s fine too! You’ve still had the opportunity to make great connections that you may have otherwise missed.
 Publishing is part of the grand adventure of writing. We are, after all, storytellers – and one great joy of telling a story is knowing someone out there will read it. 

Author Bio:

When she's not donning her secret identity and saving the world, Thiessen keeps busy writing her next novel, reading something beautiful, teaching high school English, drinking coffee, cycling, and hanging out with her family - husband, kiddies, and miniature schnauzer.

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